Anal Phase

The aggressive drive, which during the first year of life takes the form of oral sadism, reaches fuller development during the second year when the anus emerges as a sexually pleasurable zone. Because this period is characterized by satisfaction gained through aggressive behavior and through the excretory function, Freud (1933/1964) called it the sadistic-anal phase, or more briefly the anal phase of development. This phase is divided into two subphases, the early anal and the late anal.

During the early anal period, children receive satisfaction by destroying or losing objects. At this time, the destructive nature of the sadistic drive is stronger than the erotic one, and children often behave aggressively toward their parents for frustrating them with toilet training.

Then, when children enter the late anal period, they sometimes take a friendly interest toward their feces, an interest that stems from the erotic pleasure of defecating. Frequently, children will present their feces to the parents as a valued prize (Freud, 1933/1964). If their behavior is accepted and praised by their parents, then children are likely to grow into generous and magnanimous adults. However, if their "gift" is rejected in a punitive fashion, children may adopt another method of obtaining anal pleasure—withholding the feces until the pressure becomes both painful and erotically stimulating. This mode of narcissistic and masochistic pleasure lays the foundation for the anal character—people who continue to receive erotic satisfaction by keeping and possessing objects and by arranging them in an excessively neat and orderly fashion. Freud (1933/1964) hypothesized that people who grow into anal characters were, as children, overly resistant to toilet training, often holding back their feces and prolonging the time of training beyond that usually required. This anal eroticism becomes transformed into the anal triad of orderliness, stinginess, and obstinacy that typifies the adult anal character.

Freud (1933/1964) believed that, for girls, anal eroticism is carried over into penis envy during the phallic stage and can eventually be expressed by giving birth to a baby. He also believed that in the unconscious the concepts of penis and baby— because both are referred to as a "little one"—mean the same thing. Also, feces, because of its elongated shape and because it lias been removed from the body, is indistinguishable from baby, and all three concepts—penis, baby, and feces—are represented by the same symbols in dreams.

During the oral and anal stages, no basic distinction exists between male and female psychosexual growth. Children of either gender can develop an active or a passive orientation. The active attitude often is characterized by what Freud (1933/1964) considered the masculine qualities of dominance and sadism, whereas the passive orientation is usually marked by the feminine qualities of voyeurism and

Chapter 2 Freud: Psychoanalysis 41

masochism. However, either orientation, or any combination of the two, can develop in both girls and boys.

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